Research led by the University of Liverpool shows that the City of Preston’s approach to economic development has a positive impact on the health and well-being of local residents.
The newly published paper by researchers from the University of Liverpool, University of Central Lancashire, Lancaster University and the Center for Local Economic Strategies looks at the health effects of the Preston Community Wealth Building Programme.
Preston, an economically disadvantaged city in the northwest of England, has led the way in implementing a new approach to economic development known as Community Wealth Building. This approach involves investing local wealth in the local economy, encouraging the development of local businesses, improving employment and employment conditions, and maximizing socially productive use of land and property.
Researchers found that during the period in which the Preston Community Wealth Building Program was introduced, there were fewer mental health problems than expected compared to other similar areas, as life satisfaction and economic measures improved.
They found that offering the program was associated with a 3% decrease in the prescribing of antidepressants, and a 2% decrease in the prevalence of depression. Additional analysis indicated that over the same period, local residents experienced a 9% improvement in life satisfaction, and an 11% increase in wages, compared to expected trends.
Professor Ben Parr, principal investigator of the research at the University of Liverpool, commented: “As we emerge from a pandemic that has disproportionately affected the health and economies of the most disadvantaged, new, comprehensive approaches to economic recovery are needed. Our research provides valuable evidence that such approaches can They help improve health as well as benefit the local economy.”
Compared to the rest of Europe, the UK experiences some of the largest health differences between places. Wide economic differences between places within the UK are thought to underlie these differences in health.
Professor Parr continues: “Our study suggests that the economic development approach applied in Preston offers lessons for the UK government. Policies to ‘upgrade’ health, welfare and economics in disadvantaged places are often based on the principles of attracting inward investment in places like Preston. However, they have not led “These approaches almost always lead to improving well-being and reducing inequality. Our research suggests that an approach focused on building community wealth may be more effective in achieving welfare improvements and our work continues to understand this further.”
Tom Lloyd Goodwin, Director of Policy and Practice, Center for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) said: “The results of this research are exciting but not surprising to us at CLES – local governments are active participants in local economies and CLES works in dozens of places across the UK to support Implementing best practices in economic development.Time and again, we see local governments working with their partners to use their assets and influence to support local projects and good jobs, within environmentally sustainable boundaries.Community wealth building emerges as a key tactic to achieve this goal and this research continues to highlight its effectiveness as a driver of health and well-being “.
Tanith C. Rose et al., The impact of mental health and well-being of a community wealth-building program in England: a study of differences in differences, The Lancet Public Health (2023). DOI: 10.1016/S2468-2667 (23) 00059-2
the quote: Preston Economic Development Boosts Health and Wellbeing of Local People (2023, 23 April) Retrieved 23 April 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-04-preston-economic-boosts-health-wellbeing.html
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